When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11
I'm 25 yrs old, considered an adult to most people. But I'm still a child in so many ways. It seems I speak as a child, understand as a child, and think as a child far more often than I do those as a woman of God. Do you ever feel that same way?
It doesn't credit me that I've finally realized how selfish I am. While I accuse others of it (quite liberally) I know that even in the instances where I don't act out my selfishness, my heart and thoughts condemn me already.
I've looked back on my childhood and realized how much I have to be grateful for. And unfortunately, I see all the ways I was such an ungrateful brat. When I was young, my dad used an income tax refund to buy my brother and I each, a computer. He bought 2 computers! He allowed me to install an extra phone line (though he probably hated having to discuss it with his boss, since we were living in provided housing). And he let me connect myself to the internet. He took us on vacations, spending exhausting hours hauling us to science places and aquariums so that the places would be educational. He was always concerned with our education.
I easily condemned him saying he didn't love me because I could never seem to please him. Yet I wonder now, if mixed into that was a basic knowledge that we could do better and simply weren't. I never graduated college, never attended music school, and didn't (until recently) handle my money like I should. He wanted me to graduate college, wanted me to take music classes at college, and tried in some ways to teach me about money. Just a year or so back, when our church had a money management seminar, my dad bought both my brother and I the handbooks and encouraged us to attend.
My dad made mistakes too. He was determined that our sins were against him. After one particular incident he demanded I state that I hated him and explain why. I'm not sure he ever understood me any more than I understood him. But 25 yrs into life, I've finally figured out that I don't have to understand him. I just have to love him.
Here's the tougher part, I have to love him with God's love. Love that demands I suffer long and be kind, that I don't puff myself up thinking I'm better than him, that I seek his best over my own, that I not be provoked, that I think no evil. It demands that I bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things.
Love isn't easy. But let me tell you from experience, loving someone is a lot easier than living angry at someone.